“Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. It would be better if we died when they did, but we don’t.” – Stephen King
Every individual is unique so are their relationships. Some of the relationships are personal, some professional and some that define social conventions like marriage. No matter what the type is, it always involves the intimate interactions of two individuals with their unique set of values and ideas which contributes to the growth of the ones involved. Some of these relations work out beautifully, some of them might not.
Heartbreaks can occur due to innumerable reasons. Be it separation, rejection or failure, apparently heartbreaks can be psychologically paralyzing. Even from the evolutionary point of view, breakup which essentially characterizes social rejection is a threat to our survival. We want to avoid it at all costs. Regardless of us trying to bypass it; it’s an inevitable part of our lives. But the silver lining to the cloud is that they are blessings in disguise.
Irrespective of the cause of the separation, it is often followed by intense emotional pain, disillusionment and grief. Getting over heartbreak often seems to be an insurmountable task. Thanks to our neurons. In 2010 (1), a theory guided by FMRI study shows that when a person experiences heartbreak, the human brain indicated activity in the similar region of the brain as does physical pain. Therefore a romantic breakup hurts equally as bad as physical pain. It literally hurts.
But as difficult and painful as it seems, heartbreaks can work as an incredible catalysts to our personal growth.
Once you are in the process of getting over it, you learn to be resilient and emerge out mentally stronger than ever thus rendering self-evaluation and self-enlightenment.
Here are 7 ways heartbreaks make you wiser:
1) You learn to set your standards
Sometimes when you are in love, you tend to overextend yourself to make your partner happy even at the expense of your own comfort. You tend to introject and consider yourself to be an extension of the other person.
Separation is dreaded as you believe you will lose an integral part of yourself in the process. Eventually you end up doing everything possible to please your partner and make things work out with them. Even when you have done everything in your power to make the relationship work, there is no guarantee that the relationship will sustain.
Heartbreaks may make you excessively sad initially but gradually you learn to bounce back. When you look back in retrospection you realize what your deal breakers are.
An increased self-awareness make us better equipped to set standards for how you want to be treated and learn to create our boundaries in our subsequent interpersonal relationships.
2) It helps you review your intrinsic needs
When we are in a relationship, we explore our needs & wants better. We realize what our priorities are, what our basic needs, wants are and how we can communicate them in a healthy way to our partners.
Often our own insecurities and complexes get reflected in the manner we interact with our partners. Heartbreak helps you gain insight about your own emotional reactivity and defensive reaction patterns which might have led to the separation in the first place. It teaches you what really makes you tick & what your turn-offs are. This new found self-clarity helps you to approach your future dates with immense assertiveness.
3) You learn to create boundaries
Heartbreak teaches you that one cannot fill from an empty cup. You learn to prioritize your needs, before you become a savior for others. A relationship matures beyond years when you let it breathe and bloom at its own pace. Often times due to a vague sense of our own boundaries we suffocate the relationship.
It teaches you to focus on individual independence and self-reliance. As you spend more time with yourself, trying to overcome the pain inflicted by heartbreak, you realize your worth and value which fosters self-acceptance. Most importantly you learn to love and rediscover the beauty within yourself.
The biggest lesson that you learn from heartbreak is that healthy relationships are built on healthy boundaries and poor boundaries give the other person the license to inadvertently manipulate you and take you for granted. You also learn to maintain individual identities and preferences in future relationships to come. Khalil Gibran in his book, ‘The prophet’ had expressed it aptly “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”